So I’ve found that I can focus in meetings where I’m not participating much if I have something to knit. It keeps the fidgety part of my brain out of the way, keeps me from doodling about things not related to the meeting or futzing about on the internet. So I actually listen better. But there are a few key points.
Some particularly formal meetings or groups just aren’t a great fit. It helps to show up a little early and already be knitting when the meeting starts, especially if one’s habit isn’t widely known in the group. And I think it’s helpful to occasionally stop to make a note or whatever when there is something that’s specific to why I’m there.
As for the knitting itself, it should be relatively small (no afghans!) and simple; scarves, shawls, and the bodies of hats (not the crowns) seem particularly well-suited. Patterns shouldn’t require any noticeable counting, either of stitches or rows. Basically, it should look like you’re not really looking at the knitting, just doing it.
Probably my favorite pattern for meeting knitting so far has been something called the Fibonacci Scarf. It’s a ribbed scarf, but with a bit of variation, the ribs being in Fibonacci sequence: Slip knitwise, knit, purl x2, knit x3, purl x5, knit x8, purl x5, knit x3, purl x2, knit, knit; then the other way around for the even-numbered rows. It turns out really pretty, and has a bit more variation than the usual ribbed whatnot. Plus math!